Re: The future of meta-indices/libraries?

Kevin 'Kev' Hughes (kevinh@eit.COM)
Wed, 16 Mar 1994 11:57:06 --100

> From: Peter Deutsch <>
> > > The bottom line choice is between an index of 50 servers with
> > > carefully hand-crafted templates and an index of 5000 servers with
> > > machine generated templates which are less well constructed but up to
> > > date. I would certainly opt for the later.
> >
> > Well, maybe. If these 5000 servers all index only the titles of all
> > their 1000 documents each the resulting database will not be that
> > useful. Try a Veronica search for Perl: it comes up with > 4000
> > matches, how am I supposed to find the servers dedicated to Perl?
> Can we aim for both? I see wanting both a cheap,
> relatively useful set of machine-generated and accurate
> titles plus more descriptive info where available. That's
> why we added the WAIS indexing capability and worked on
> the IAFA template stuff. All the components are now in
> place to do more detailed descriptive info once we figure
> out where it is. Meanwhile, and until enough sites agree
> to do this, filenames/menu items/titles are not a bad
> first approximation and a lot easier to automate.

I like what Martjin has done with ALIWEB, and I think templates
are the way to go - using templates, you can have both!
Entries in a site's template file can be manually created or
massaged; automatically (locally) generated templates can be appended
or put into another index file specifically for automatically-created
template entries.
Maybe put a field in each entry specifying whether it was manually
or automatically created; that way the end user doing the searching
would know a bit more about the data they've received? Or at least a
"Last-Modified" line, something like that.
I like this approach myself because this way web robots can be
polite and only gather what the local webmaster wants made available,
without having to traverse trees, pull out titles, search for who knows
what. And using this method, local admins can configure their
template-creating programs to grab only what they feel is important.

-- Kevin

Kevin Hughes *
Enterprise Integration Technologies Webmaster (
Hypermedia Industrial Designer * Duty now for the future!